"Not always so sunny Maldives" Laurina's Profile
I try to go diving as much as possible and have recently gotten into underwater photography. What struck me looking at this clown fish was the bright orange-colored anemone coral! Even my dive guide told me he had never seen an anemone this color :o)
Welcome to my global travels!!!
I've lived abroad all my life - not really an adventurer by nature, more by circumstance! I was born and raised in Denmark and also lived in the States for a while. I spent four years in the West Bank (Ramallah and then Jerusalem) then Pakistan for 3 1/3 years.
I've been living in the Maldives for nearly 1 1/2 years on the capital island, Male' one of the most densely populated spaces on earth. Definitely the most densely populated island! This means not the most comfortable living conditions for most people if one uses the limited space as an indicator. No I'm not on a permanent holiday here - I actually am here for WORK!
As I've never been your conventional tourist, more like a cultural nomad, my pages are meant to convey my impressions of places I have lived in and experienced. Oh, and most of the pictures are mine unless otherwise indicated (plus, I admit, my Dad took a few!)
Anyway, I'm so thrilled to have discovered the VT community. It doesn't take long to get addicted, does it?
August 2005: Driving up the Karokoram Highway, Hunza, across the Shandur Pass, Chitral....Wow. Pakistan's Northern Areas!
April/May 2005: Various trips to Lahore - why did I only fall for this city during my last months in Pakistan?
January 2005: Delhi/Agra
Highlight: What is the difference between Pakistan and India? Nothing and everything!!!!!!!!
January 2005: Karachi. Party on the beach w/ a 6 am breakfast. Who says Pakistanis don't know how to have a good time?
December 2004: Luxembourgh
Fun-filled family visit....I managed to explore the underground nightlife of Lux - was VERY impressed...
November 2004: Cholistan desert/Rahim Yar Khan, i.e. Southern Punjab....a blend of desert forts, camels and sugar cane carts, mango farms, desert, camels, off-roading, cotton picking farmers, turbans, turbans turbans, and oh, did I mention camels? It was awesome...I'm telling you anyone who travels to South Asia without visiting Pakistan is a fool
Last year I spent 3 weeks on a field mission to Quetta. I'd hoped to visit some of the nearby provinces, Pishin and Sibi, but the day before I was supposed to go the Foreign ministry issued a security advisory requiring foreigners with international missions to get security clearance 15 days before(!) Not something the UN can work with...
What can I say? In many ways, it was like a holiday, half of the time anyway. During the day I'd either be working in our provincial office, meeting with government counterparts and NGOs, or walking around the slums of Quetta. I visited the Hindu community (I think the most miserable people I've seen in Pakistan, then again, some of the kids were educated so perhaps the newer generation is getting access to a better life) THe highlight was visiting a school for Afghan refugee kids, all girls. More pictures to come...
And in the evening I'd come home, sit in the garden of the Serena Hotel and drink some fresh squeezed orange juice, watching the sun set over the mountains. Th landscape is quite similar to parts of Afghanistan and it's said that it's even more beautiful. Moon-scape.
This is a picture of some carpet weaving boys from the Hazara community. They are originally from the Bamia area in Afghanistan (where the destroyed Buddhas are). Though they are working children, they are probably better off then the kids picking through garbage on the streets of Quetta.
While in Quetta I visited a school set up by a local NGO, which provides education to Afghan refugee girls. They are called 'Moghuls', originally hailing from Central Asia (Uzbekistan). Eventually they migrated to Northern Afghanistan and ended up in Quetta during the war against the Soviets. However, since they are not 'official' refugees, they have little access to services. I asked why they were called 'Moghuls'. The reason is that when they first arrived in Afghanistan, they came from the direction that the 'Moghuls' came from....East. OK, that's a bit confusing.
In any case, these girls were happy to have their picture taken (I asked them first!) but of course they wouldn't show their faces. Still, the colors of their shalwar kameezes are colorful enough to warrant a picture :o)
This is one of my favorite pages. My parents lived in this beautiful part of the world for 12 years. I was there last in 2001. It's funny how even more special a place becomes once you leave it for good. Sense of place, sense of self...
My page on Reggio Calabria
Another special page of mine...some of the stuff gets pretty emotional. I've pulled back from the situation a bit. I realized I had to do this one day when I thought, I cannot come into work and cry every day just because tanks are rolling through my streets. I'm not there anymore, it's not 'my' place. Well, most of all, it is beyond your control to do anything, so focus on your life, here and now, in Pakistan. Still the four years in Palestine will be with me fundamentally, forever.
Palestine - My Home for Nearly Four Years
My original duty station was meant to be Lahore in Pakistan's Punjab Province. Lahore is also referred to as the historical capital of Punjab and is a contemporary to India's Delhi. In the end I landed in Islamabad where I lived during my time in the country. I only wish my fascination with this bustling city had started earlier...
My page on Lahore
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Badges & Stats
- 64 Reviews
- 177 Photos
- 10 Countries
- 8 Cities
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- Laurina and Bregman are now friends.
- Commented on alza's profile page
- Posted in Travel Milan Forum "Re: Locating lost and found items..."
- Uploaded a Photo to "Diving with Mantas"
- Wrote a Review Chilling in a 'joli' - the Maldivian-style hammock in Maldives Local Customs
updated their Personal Page "Maldivian Wildlife"
- updated a Maldives Travel Page "Paradise or Not?"
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Palestine Intro, 13 reviews, 23 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Reggio di Calabria Intro, 6 reviews, 14 photos, 2 travelogues
- Lahore Intro, 8 reviews, 9 photos
- Pakistan Intro, 15 photos, 4 travelogues
- Islamabad Intro, 9 reviews, 6 photos
- Morocco Intro, 1 review, 12 photos, 1 travelogue
- New York City Intro, 6 reviews, 7 photos
- Nepal Intro, 5 reviews, 8 photos, 1 travelogue
- Maldives Intro, 5 reviews, 8 photos
- Glasgow Intro, 9 photos, 1 travelogue